L.A. Robinson honored at parade

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2003

A special place was reserved for L.A. Robinson in the Independence Day Parade in Brundidge Saturday.

He was given a seat of honor on a float with Mr. and Miss Pike County High School and there could not have been a more appropriate place. Robinson has taught agriculture in Brundidge for 40 years and was recently named Dean of Agriculture Teachers for the State of Alabama. Robinson received the high honor at the State FFA Convention. He will also be honored for his 40 years of teaching service in agriculture at the Career Summer Conference in Mobile later this summer.

"From what I understand, they have not had a 40-year honoree in 15 or 20 years," Robinson said and, laughingly, admitted that he could be the last.

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"These honors mean a lot to me because, maybe, they mean that I've done something right over these 40 years," he said. "For me to be asked to ride in this parade in recognition of these awards and these years, is a real honor and I do appreciate it. But, no, I'm not retiring."

Robinson said he could have retired years ago, but he has no desire to sit home.

"You've gotta love it to stay 40 years," he said of teaching. "And, I do love it. I'm really losing money by working. I could make more sitting home, but I don't want to do that. If I'm not at work every morning by 5:15, I'm late."

For Robinson, the real rewards of teaching aren't in paychecks. They come from students who return to tell him that he made a difference in their lives.

"At the time, they might think that I'm hard on them, but later in life they come to appreciate it," he said. "It might not be until they have children of their own, but sooner or later, they'll realize that what I did was for their own good."

Robinson is a strong disciplinarian and he is in complete control of his classroom.

"I'm the manager of my classroom," he said. Not the parents, not the principal, not the students. Me. I'm the manager."

But, what about Mr. Do-Right?

"And, Mr. Do-Right," he said, laughing.

Mr. Do-Right is a paddle that Robinson uses to drive home a point.

"Oh, I still use a paddle," he said. "I give the students a choice and many times they'll take a paddling rather than being denied a privilege. But, I control my class. Some teachers send students to the principal or call their parents. I don't do that. If it's a discipline problem, I handle it."

Students often come back to thank Robinson for his firmness and his fairness.

"I'm firm with my students but I'm fair," he said. "They know when you're fair and, if you're not, you lose control. I'm fair and I'm in control and I'm still going to be there when the bell rings for the next school term."